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Transforming World with Geospatial Infrastructure: GWF 2019 Insights from Intellias

Discover how geospatial will innovate industries and what’s in it for your business

April 09, 2019

6 mins read

From April 2 through April 4, 2019, the global geospatial community gathered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to discuss the industry’s emerging trends and challenges at Geospatial World Forum (GWF) 2019.

The importance of geospatial technology in the world of today and tomorrow is presented to you in a surprising, visual, and interactive way during the 3-day event. The forum is the place for inspiration and interaction.

Dorine Burmanje, Chair of Executive Board, Kadaster, Co-host, Geospatial World Forum 2019

For more than a decade, Geospatial World Forum has been creating a unique platform for top-level geospatial professionals and leaders to network, learn, share experience, and define the roadmap for the industry’s further development. This year, the event hosted over 250 speakers, 1500 participants, and 500 organizations from more than 70 countries. Intellias experts were part of this huge audience.

Artem Barsukov, GIS Practice Leader at Intellias, attended GWF 2019 to discover what is shaping the vision of the industry today and how the entire geospatial ecosystem will evolve in the years to come. Now, Artem is sharing the insights he has captured at the most talked geospatial event in Europe. 

Transforming World with Geospatial Infrastructure: GWF 2019 Insights from Intellias

Geospatial by default

That’s how the forum’s central theme sounded. Let’s dive deeper into its core and define what it means.

We are moving towards exponentially changing world, creating many problems and threatening our life support. Geospatial is the best platform to rapidly scale this, bring the transformation, and make a better living place.

Jack Dangermond, President at Esri

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution is rapidly approaching and transforming industries, artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things, and robotics expand the reach of geospatial. Organizations start embracing geospatial technology and data more actively, searching for new ways to amplify their IT-powered services and increase operational efficiency. Thus, penetrating new markets, and creating new growth opportunities for a more significant amount of industries, the geospatial sector is becoming more open.

The spatial approach to business management is becoming ubiquitous, upscaling common practices of business planning and development. GWF 2019 strived to showcase the value of geospatial knowledge, simplify its utility, and make geographic data a universal tool that will empower the entire world.

Read more: Learn how to apply location technology, drones, and IoT to change the agriculture industry landscape

What’s next in trend: 5G, digital twin, and GIS services interconnected

Geospatial and 5G will be tightly connected in the upcoming years. Precise location data will help governments build smart cities, and with the help of 5G, this data will be real time, delivered in a fraction of a second.

The high frequencies of 5G allow carrying vast amounts of data yet have a very short range. Even the smallest obstacles can block the signal, that’s why clear-cut and valid spatial data is critical in this case. Accurate geospatial data and analytics are significant to build an effective 5G network and launch its unprecedented speed.

Frank Pauli, CEO at CycloMedia, also shares his vision on the shaping of digital cities. He suggests that digital twin technology will make 5G and GIS work successfully, as it can incorporate more massive datasets and, as a result, allows to create a single view of city models or advance asset management.

Transforming World with Geospatial Infrastructure: GWF 2019 Insights from Intellias

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Adding new industries to the geospatial ecosystem map

Geographic information has various industrial applications. But recent technological progress has significantly advanced its use-cases and created powerful decision-making tools for new markets. With 5G and digital twin technologies in its hand, geospatial will disclose new opportunities for traditional things to go digital.

Smart cities

The 21st century is the era of cities, big cities. As we work together to help build smart, sustainable cities and villages, geospatial technology can help unlock tremendous opportunity for progress. 

Wim Herijgers, Group Director of Digital Innovation and Technology at Fugro


The transition to the smart city infrastructure requires a deep understanding of current structures and ecosystems. With the increased demand for new transport routes, for example (such as particular roads for autonomous vehicles), geospatial data becomes the solution to design and build them in a new, smarter way.

Transforming World with Geospatial Infrastructure: GWF 2019 Insights from Intellias

Spatial data will help any business or government organization get a better understanding of their sites and assets to replan urban facilities and infrastructure up to the emerging requirements. Geoservices can even benefit the economic needs of entire countries, helping city councils plan at local levels, according to Anna Wellenstein, Urban and Disaster Risk Practice Manager at World Bank Group. She states that geospatial is critical for the economic transformation of the gig, shared, and digital economy.

You have to digitize the environment before you can consider doing smarter things. 

Ted Lamboo, Senior Vice President at Bentley Systems


Collaboration comes to the forefront, when it comes to smart cities. Mr Malcolm Johnson, ITU Deputy Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union, states that cooperation in terms of technology and standardization is the key to a successful transition to digital. And geodata can align technology with the existing infrastructure and standardize its digitalization.

Digital construction

The emerging digital construction sphere is rapidly evolving with intelligent mapping and analytics powered by geographic information systems (GIS).

The geographic approach to data management allows for planning and creating smarter and more efficient infrastructures while reducing costs and optimizing workflows at the same time. Pioneering geospatial technology in the construction industry, organizations improve their profitability and drive smarter decisions.

According to B.V.R. Mohan Reddy, Executive Chairman of Cyient, data engineering with GIS is “renewing the old” and “building the new”:

Transforming World with Geospatial Infrastructure: GWF 2019 Insights from Intellias

B.V.R. Mohan Reddy emphasizes on the importance of geographic engineering as the new growth engine for architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. He predicts that the spent on digital geospatial engineering will take 37% of total R&D expenses planned by 2023, which is $642 billion. He also defines five imperatives to succeed in the digital era:

  • Innovation
  • Collaboration
  • Refinement of the supply chain
  • Pragmatic mergers and acquisitions (M&A)
  • Ability to integrate to create value for customers

Precision spatial data enables the entire construction lifecycle — from pre-construction and site layout to post-construction. Maps and geospatial models boost the AEC industry progress on its way to autonomy and digital transformation.

Public transportation

Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary General of the International Association of Public Transport, names location as key to planning and monitoring public transport logistics and navigation. Geospatial technology and GIS services are essential cornerstones for land use information, autonomous vehicles, and passenger information.

Transforming World with Geospatial Infrastructure: GWF 2019 Insights from Intellias

Spatial data management allows organizations to gain full visibility of their operations. Bringing all data together and integrating it in real time is the key to designing optimal routes, improving services, safety, and reliability. Geospatial technology is also applicable for infrastructure management, as it helps to understand the condition of the company’s assets and increase their performance as a result.

Final thoughts

As for today, the geospatial ecosystem is evolving rapidly, creating vast opportunities for organizations of all shapes and sizes and transforming the way they operate. 2019 is high time to leverage best GIS practices and get the maximum out of the next to real-time data.

Contact us to get more insights on the benefits the geographic data and analytics can bring to your organization. One of our GIS experts will help you apply the best geospatial practices to your projects. Also, check out our company in the list of Top Software Development Companies

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